Brutal cold causes more LIRR trouble as possible fare hike looms

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MINEOLA -

The bitter blast gripping Long Island is causing more trouble for the Long Island Rail Road as a possible fare hike could be coming soon.

Delays on the LIRR continued Tuesday after a rail broke near the New Hyde Park station. LIRR officials say they're still investigating what caused it to crack and add that broken rails are often the result of bitter-cold weather.

Commuters on the Port Jefferson, Oyster Bay and Ronkonkoma branches had to deal with delays of up to 40 minutes in both directions.

Two other rails broke over the past 48 hours -- in Island Park and in Cold Spring Harbor.

At Tuesday morning's LIRR meeting, President Phillip Eng touted the railroad's on-time performance numbers for December. But as News 12 has reported, the on-time performance for all of 2018 was 90.4 percent -- the lowest it's been since 1999.

MORE: LIRR has worst on-time performance in 19 years 

MTA members are expected to pass a proposed fare hike later this week. Officials say weekly tickets would increase by $5.75 and commuters would shell out about $15 more for a monthly ticket.

Lorraine Hemans, of Roosevelt, says service is not getting better despite the increasing prices.

The vote on the fare hike is scheduled for Thursday. If approved, commuters can expect to start paying more in March.

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